Norway’s no utopia

Publicly searchable tax returns? Yikes!

Worse, Norway has a 25% HST, which includes a 15% value-added tax on groceries. There are also local taxes and social security levies. Plus, Norway has a 1.1% wealth tax – which clicks in at the $130,000 mark – on top of income and sales taxes. In total, the average middle-class Norwegian family (there are no other kinds, of course) pays about $70,000 a year to the state. For that they get Canadian-style health care, free education and subsidized child care.

Norwegians also surrender privacy. The state publishes everyone’s tax return online in a searchable database, complete with birth dates and place of residence. This database also includes the net worth of all citizens, which must be real handy if you are into fraud.

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